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Impact on Older People’s Health & Wellbeing from Compassionate Communication During In-Hospital Stay

  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

PhD Studentship- A study exploring the impact on older people’s health and wellbeing from compassionate communication during their admission and in-hospital stay.  

Compassionate care is an expectation of all staff working with patients of any age (NHS Constitution) and comprises of recognising and alleviating suffering. Compassionate Care Intervention consists of multi-modal communication that recognises psychological suffering or the potential for suffering, and is implemented to relieve that suffering. This PhD aims to explore and understand the perceived value of Compassionate Care Intervention to the well-being of older people from their perspectives and from the perspectives of the multi-disciplinary team caring for them.  

This is a fully-funded PhD studentship which includes a stipend of £14,000 each year to support your living costs.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2017

Location:

Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus

Duration:

48 months

Entry requirements:

Preferably a 1st class honours degree and/or a relevant Master's degree with distinction or equivalent Grade Point Average. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic) or above. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

Candidates will need to be a qualified and registered health professional with an interest and experience in older people’s health and well being. 

Project details

This is an excellent opportunity for a funded PhD studentship in an area of genuine importance to older people’s health, care and service excellence within an acute hospital setting.  

Compassionate care is an expectation of all staff working with patients of any age (NHS Constitution) and comprises recognising and alleviating suffering. Compassionate Care Intervention (CCI) consists of multi-modal communication that recognises psychological suffering or the potential for suffering, and is implemented to relieve that suffering. CCI can be tailored to individuals’ needs/preferences; such as being a reassuring presence, holding a hand, providing explanations of investigations and treatments, advocating and other communication to relieve anxiety.  

The project aims to explore and understand the perceived value of CCI to the well-being of older people from their perspectives and from the perspectives of the multi-disciplinary team caring for them.  It also aims to measure the impact of CCI on older people’s satisfaction and adherence to recommended treatment during their admission and hospital stay.  The project uses a mixed methods design and data collection will take place within Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust with supervision by academics from Bournemouth University.

Objectives:

  • To understand the perceived value of CCI to the wellbeing of older people from the perspectives of these patients, their carers and/or family members
  • To determine the impact of CCI on older people/patient satisfaction
  • To determine the impact of CCI on older people/patient adherence with recommended treatment and hospital stay
  • To understand the perceived value of CCI with older people to the hospital MDT caring for them 

We are working in partnership with Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to offer this fully-funded PhD Studentship. To apply for this Studentship you must be a registered health care professional and be eligible to practice in the UK. The successful candidate will spend 2 days per week working in their professional capacity at Yeovil Hospital and 3 days per week working on the PhD research study. The Studentship is for 4 years, which will begin in September 2017. You will be supported by an annual £14,000 stipend and an additional sum to support training and development costs during the Studentship. 

View the full project description here

The closing date for applications is 30 April 2017.

Supervisors

Dr Katherine Curtis 

Dr Katherine Curtis is Associate Professor and Head of Department Nursing and Clinical Sciences in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at Bournemouth University. She is a Registered Nurse and Nurse Educator with extensive clinical experience in adult critical care nursing as well as many years of experience and a successful track record in leading and managing undergraduate and postgraduate health professional preparation programmes. She has a particular research interest in the socialisation of compassionate practice and the sustainability of ethical practices within healthcare cultures and environments, attracting funding for research projects and practice innovations, and has published and presented her research nationally and internationally.

Katherine completed her Registered General Nurse education at St.Thomas’ Hospital in London in 1984, a BSc(Hons) in Psychology and Social Biology in 1991, a MSc in Behavioural Biology and Healthcare in 1997, and became an NMC Registered Lecturer/Practice Educator in 2003.

In her role as Head of Department Nursing and Clinical Sciences, Katherine is responsible for leading the academic team in the fusion of high quality education, research and professional practice. Through her strategic leadership, she is keen to shape ongoing developments within the department that enable an excellent experience for students, staff and all stakeholders.

Katherine is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and holds a National Certificate in Workplace Mediation. She provides peer review to many health professional and education journals.

Dr Jonny Branney 

Dr Jonathan (Jonny) Branney is a Lecturer in Adult Nursing and teaches on the BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing programme and the post-registration Critical Care Nursing course. He has a substantial clinical background as both a registered nurse (critical care; accident & emergency) and a registered chiropractor. He is passionate about the role of biosciences in nursing education, using innovative teaching techniques wherever possible to engage students, and in research into musculoskeletal disorders, particularly that aimed at improving outcomes for patients.

Prior to joining Bournemouth University, Jonny was based at the Institute for Musculoskeletal Research & Clinical Implementation (IMRCI), Anglo-European College of Chiropractic, where he completed award-winning doctoral research into the mechanism of spinal manipulative therapy and its relationship with patient-reported outcomes in the treatment of patients with neck pain. This work included the use of quantitative fluoroscopy (motion x-rays) to measure the movement of the bones in the cervical spine of the participating patients before and after treatment. He has published the findings of his research into neck pain which was conducted with colleagues at IMRCI where he holds a Visiting Research Fellowship, in international peer-reviewed journals. Working with the Orthopaedic Research Institute at Bournemouth University, his research activities there are currently aimed at improving outcomes for patients scheduled for hip and knee replacement surgery.

Before getting involved with academia Jonny worked clinically, first as a nurse, graduating with a BN (Hons) from the University of Glasgow, in 2002. Following several NHS posts he qualified as a chiropractor with an MChiro from AECC before embarking on research into neck pain. Jonny has now brought both his research and duel clinical backgrounds together to mutual benefit in informing his career as a full-time academic.

Professor Stephen Tee

Steve joined Bournemouth University as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences in September 2015. Before that he was Dean for education at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London and Associate Dean at the University of Southampton. He has worked in the NHS and in higher education for thirty years and provided strategic and operational leadership in a range of senior roles. He was a former Chair of the London Higher Health Group

As a nurse he has worked in acute, rehabilitation and community settings. His research interests include participatory approaches to health care delivery and education particularly focusing on service user involvement. He has published widely on many aspects of nurse education in healthcare and has edited books and journals. He was appointed Principal Fellow of Kings College London and the Higher Education Academy in 2014 and National Teaching Fellow in 2015.

Steve believes strongly that patients and their families should be at the heart of clinical decision-making and care delivery and that we need to ensure that all healthcare practitioners have the values of care and compassion as well as the capability to provide world-class evidence-based healthcare. His role as governor at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital provides an excellent opportunity to foster a strong partnership between service providers and higher education to ensure we are preparing the right workforce now and into the future.

Funding

A fully-funded Studentship includes a maintenance grant of £14,000 per year to contribute towards living expenses during the course of your research, as well as a fee waiver for 48 months. Associated costs, such as for fieldwork and conference attendance, will also be met under the Studentship.

Academic Support

When undertaking a research degree at BU, you will develop research skills in your specific project area and discipline, and you will also have an opportunity to develop wider, transferable skills which will assist in your future employment, whether within or outside academia.

The Researcher Development Framework, developed by the Graduate School in line with the Research Councils UK (RCUK), will enable you to enhance your abilities in areas which are not necessarily discipline-specific.

An added benefit is the opportunity to meet researchers from other academic schools at BU through the activities of our Graduate School and benefit from their experiences, skills, and perspectives.

Full entry requirements

For fully funded studentships candidates must demonstrate outstanding academic potential with preferably a 1st class honours degree and/or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent Grade Point Average.

To be eligible to apply candidates will need to be a qualified and registered health professional with an interest and experience in older people’s health and well being.  

In addition to satisfying basic entry criteria, BU will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful completion.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally: 

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our postgraduate entry requirements page.

How to apply

Click the green ‘Apply now’ button at the top of the page and complete the online application form. You can find further guidance about applying for a postgraduate research degree in our Postgraduate Research section.

The closing date for applications is 30 April 2017.

Careers

A research degree can open new career opportunities in commercial research and development, consultancy, or could lead you to starting your own business. You may alternatively consider a career in academia. You may wish to undertake research to contribute to your knowledge of a specialist subject, or develop your employability by enhancing your skills in project management and analysis.